At some point in every publisher's offices across the globe over the past five years, an executive has asked "What is a MOBA and why don't we have one?"
Namco Bandai evidently had that discussion later than many, as they've only now tossed their hat into the free-to-play MOBA arena. Yesterday they announced Supernova [official site], a F2P sci-fi MOBA with a twist (got to have a twist!). See, in Supernova, folks can upgrade and customise their creeps - those weak, AI-controlled units forever charging towards the enemy base. A twist!
Having coined the term Minecraftbut for "It's like Minecraft but..." games, I'd now like to suggest LoLbut for games which are "Like League of Legends but..." (Though LoL was based on DotA, I'd say the current MOBA rush is specifically chasing after LoL. Even more specifically, they're chasing LoL's enormous install-base and audience numbers.)
Anyway! Supernova has robots and it has aliens. They fight each other. The main distinguishing feature is those customisable creeps, which have tech trees and whatnot to shape them, and a rock, paper, scissors-ish balancing of infantry, armour, and air. It's being made by new outfit Primal Game Studio, and due to launch later this year. Closed alpha testing has already started, you can sign up over here.
The folks at RPS fansite PC Gamer have played Supernova but I don't know if I trust their MOBA opinions after we trounced them in a recent 'friendly' Dota 2 match. It's hard to tell, isn't it, when you're playing along and enjoying a friendly rivalry and when you've gone too far and are being an arse. [Pip: I'd say that point was Dagon 5 on Puck against neophytes, Alice...]
What was the last big fad? I can't even remember anymore. Modern-day millitary FPSs, was it?